By Prior Beharry
A NEWLY-formed activist group is calling on Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and anyone to join it in a march against violent crime and murder around the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain on December 10.
Chairman of Project 600 Isa Mohammed made the call at a press conference at Eniath’s Printing Company Limited at Frederick Settlement in Caroni on Friday.
Stressing that it was a non-political organisation, Mohammed said on December 10, the group wanted 600 people to surround the savannah in a message that would return Trinidad and Tobago to the peaceful nation it once was. He said the name of the organisation was chosen because the murder toll in the country last year was just over 600 and that figure could be surpassed this year.
Mohammed called for people to join them on December 10 at 3 pm and said the 600 volunteers would be given white flags to symbolise the plight of the country.
He said, “Bring as many of your supporters as you can and full the savannah. I would prefer though that we get from all (political) sides and not just one or two.
“When I say it’s not political, the organisation is not political. And we are not going to be in support of any side or the other. We are not in support of any party, we’re not in support of any calls.
“We want citizens of Trinidad and Tobago regardless of political affiliation, regardless of class or social status. We want every citizen of T&T to be part and to be welcomed.
“You may be the prime minister of the country. We want you to join us in the savannah to show solidarity with our fellow Trinbagonianas, who have suffered and who have lossed over the years.”
Asked by AZP News, if he was calling on the prime minister to join, Mohammed, who is director and sales manager at Eniath’s, said, “I am asking every citizen of Trinidad to join us including the prime minister and his wife.
“I am asking the opposition leader, I am asking every single person in this country, every citizen of T&T regardless of status or standing.
I am asking not only the prime minister, I am asking the homeless man on the street, I am asking the workers, I am asking the welders, I am asking people who work in the oil industry, I’m asking the people who work in the taxi industry, I’m asking the people who hustle cotton candy on this side of the road, I’m asking the people who are CEOs, I’m asking the chambers, I am asking your religious organisations, I’m asking the pastors and the pundits and the Imams, I’m asking every single person in T&T.
“This (crime) affects everybody, it does not pick and choose.”
Asked how he came up with the idea, Mohammed said there was a feeling of “dread” in the country and he didn’t want to face his “unborn grandchildren” and tell them that he did nothing to bring back T&T to the paradise it once was.
Also at the press conference was Mohammed’s wife human resources manager Karen Salma Adam.
Asked bout her initial statement about taking a non-violence approach to the situation, Adam said, “It is my belief it takes more strength to face conflicts non-violently than it takes to pick up a gun or a weapon.
“That strength is lacking. It is something that needs to be at the forefront to give people an alternative to violence, to resolving issues with aggression and violence.”
Speaking also was electronic engineer and mathematics tutor John Wildman who will lead the outreach for Project 600.
He said, “We need the help of 600 people, 600 flagbearers, 600 families, to come out and walk with us in solidarity around the Queens Park Savannah holding a flag, making a statement.
“We’re doing this for you, for our communities and we need community support.
“We need you to spread the word. Talk to your village councils, share it on your neighbourhood watch groups, on your community blogs, share it on social media, make it a family event.
“Let’s show the country that we are not going to sit back and allow our country to be taken from us.
“Some people say they feel like live-in hostages in their own homes. Afraid to venture out. Afraid to even go for walks in their own community for fear of being robbed or killed.
“Their children are leaving the country because this is not the kind of society they want to grow up in. This has to stop.”
The press conference was moderated by author and Petit Valley resident Lisa Allen-Agostini who said December 10 was also Human Rights Day.
She said Project 600 was a march against violent crime and murder.
The group can be contacted on social media and via its website – project600tt.com